Thanks for publishing Robert Sharpe's letter on the Drug Policy Alliance.
America would not be the first country in history to destroy the liberty
upon which it was founded.
John Locke wrote: "Whenever legislators endeavor to take away and destroy
the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary
power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are
thereupon absolved from any further obedience," in 1690.
Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of Locke, and incorporated many of Locke's
tenets into the Declaration of Independence.
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Article 1 - Act 1
Article 2 - Act I: Jennifer
Article 3 - Act I: Linwood
Article 4 - Act I: Linda
Article 5 - Act I: Vernon
Article 6 - Act I: Insanity
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Loretta Nall could have done a lot of things when the helicopters started
to target her. She could have gotten scared. She could have moved to
another house or into an apartment. She could have just tried to ignore
them and prayed that they'd go away.
Instead, when police helicopters began hovering over her rural Tallapoosa
County home, whipping the trees with high-speed winds and deafening her
with thunderous noise, she got organized. "I think they were looking for
marijuana, but I don't know why they thought that I was growing it," she
said. "I wasn't."
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San Bernardino County Sheriff Gary Penrod doesn't hesitate to express his
opinion about medical marijuana.
"I think it's just a step to legalize drugs," the county's top cop said.
"I'm opposed to it."
But six years after California voters approved Proposition 215, the
statewide initiative that legalized the use of marijuana for medical
purposes, both proponents of the law and narcotics officers continue to
disagree over how the law should be implemented.
"It's forcing district attorneys, police and law enforcement agencies to
make up their own rules," said Detective Robbie Ciolli, a member of the
Sheriff's Marijuana Eradication Team.The problem, both sides agree, is that
the law only requires a person to secure a doctor's recommendation
(prescription) to use marijuana for almost any ailment and doesn't set how
much patients can grow.
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The 2002 Monitoring the Future study delivered an early holiday gift with
its encouraging news about the reduction of drug use by teens ("Teen drug
use on decline, study says: U-M researchers say 9/11 has a sobering effect,"
Dec. 17). However, it is important to remember that drug use among teens
remains unacceptably high. We can't let up in our efforts to reduce drug use
Attitudes about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are changing, and when they
do, behavior changes. These changes in attitude can be attributed in part to
collaborative community efforts to educate, involve and inform young people.
The reality of substance abuse continues to resonate with teens.
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According to your Dec. 18 editorial "No matter why, it's great to see teens
kick bad habits," "drugs will mess up your college plans, get you arrested,
get you raped." The Higher Education Act denies student loans to youths
convicted of drug offenses. Hypocritical drug laws are the reason Americans
who prefer marijuana to martinis are thrown in jail and raped. In short, the
war on some drugs poses a greater threat to today's teenagers than drugs
Most teenagers outgrow their youthful indiscretions involving drugs. An
arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be life-shattering. After
admitting to smoking pot (but not inhaling), former President Bill Clinton
opened himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism, and thousands of Americans
have paid the price in the form of shattered lives. More Americans went to
prison or jail during the Clinton administration than during any past
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I applaud your editorial welcoming changes to Michigan's draconian mandatory
minimum drug laws ("Drug Fight: Engler can untie judges' hands with flexible
laws," Dec. 18). For nearly a quarter of a century, as director of the
Lansing office of the State Appellate Defender, I fought a generally losing
battle against the racially biased war on drugs and the outrageous prison
expansion this war fueled.
As I enter private practice, I hope to remain active in the ongoing effort
to reduce this state's appetite for incarceration. The revisions discussed
in your editorial are a testament to the fact that a fiscal crisis does have
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My hat's off to the writer of the Dec. 4 letter, "Drug-policy connection,"
which cited legislative restriction (prohibition) as the true underlying
cause of the tragedies associated with the drug problem in Detroit and many
other U.S. cities.
For decades, government officials, the media and the general public have
steadfastly blamed the drug problem on such superficial scapegoats as
insufficient police protection, easy access to guns, video violence, etc.,
all the while ignoring the simple truths the years of alcohol prohibition
revealed: Substance abuse cannot be resolved by simply outlawing the
The losses of thousands of lives and billions of dollars will never end
until it is openly recognized that our war on drugs has been a monumental
failure, and that our drug laws must be drastically revised.
David M. Morse
Judge Gilbert has blamed his drinking for smoking marijuana. I would like to
know who twisted his arm and poured the alcohol down his throat. Think about
How can he sit on the bench and look people in the eye, when it seems most
of the people want him to resign?
Fodor's 2002 described Santa Cruz as "a haven for those opting out of the
rat race" and "a bastion of 1960s-style counterculture."
But since housing prices aren't stuck in a '60s time warp, who can opt out
of even the hamster wheel of life?
And with the City Council set to regulate that holiest cow of Santa Cruz
counterculture--the street performers--will Fodor have to classify SC as "no
longer nearly so weird?"
Not if BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ owner NEAL COONERTY can help it. Coonerty, who
says the current council's decision to reduce limits from 14 feet to 10 feet
"is a fairly good compromise," is selling "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" T-shirts
and stickers at his bookstore.
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